Hudson County Community College (HCCC) officially celebrated the grand opening of its new Student Center at 81 Sip Avenue in Jersey City on Thursday, September 30. A ribbon-cutting ceremony took place with HCCC President Dr. Christopher Reber officiating.
Food tastings from Libby’s Home Kitchen and Starbucks, which are located in the Student Center, were available for students throughout the day. Attendees explored the new Student Center through self-guided tours.
The College-owned building, which formerly housed faculty offices and classrooms, underwent an $8.2 million renovation that was completed at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.
“This building is the first, dedicated Student Center in the College’s 47-year history, and because of the pandemic, this is the first time our students are able to take full advantage of everything it offers,” Dr. Reber stated. He said the HCCC Student Center has been bustling these past few weeks, and Student Center Information Desk Assistants have been very busy because of increased on-campus classes.
Di Cara|Rubino Architects designed the renovation to create a state-of-the-art setting that affords students the very best in technology, safety, and convenience. The Student Center is the “living room” for all HCCC students – a place where students can relax, meet outside the classroom, share ideas and values, assist and advise one another, pursue career and employment opportunities, attend events celebrating diverse cultures, and build long-lasting relationships.
The HCCC Student Center first floor includes the Welcome Center, Student Lounges, full-service Café, Veterans’ Lounge, and Security Command Center. The second floor houses offices for Student Life, Student Government and a variety of other student organizations, an Open Lounge, and a large, Multipurpose Room for events and meetings. Offices of the College’s Security, Custodial and Facilities staff, and storage space are located on the lower level.
The renovation by APS Contracting, Inc. included the addition of façade brick stained to match that of the adjoining HCCC Gabert Library; replacement of the existing roof; complete interior demolition; the addition of a new entrance vestibule; installation of new HVAC systems, elevators, and an emergency generator; and a direct, indoor connection to the Gabert Library. Wi Fi and computer stations are available throughout the building, as are “green” elements for energy efficiency and sustainability.
The HCCC Student Center is the latest of several construction projects undertaken by the College that have transformed Journal Square. It represents the college’s mission to serve its diverse communities with inclusive educational programs and services that promote student success, upward social and economic mobility, and resources for growth.
The project was financed with Chapter 12 funding, a state program for county colleges that is funded through State and County capital bond financing. All of the College’s capital improvements have been completed with appropriated capital. As a result, the College does not carry any capital debt, and not one dollar of student tuition is utilized for debt.